Australians have embraced cashless payments – even before COVID-19 transformed the way we live and transact. Today, with concerns over health, safety and hygiene front of mind, individuals and businesses are seeking to minimise their use of cash – to the extent that global market research firm Research and Markets predicts that Australia could become the Asia Pacific’s first cashless society by 2022.
The benefits schools can derive from going cashless are significant. Digital payments support primary and secondary schools to eliminate manual processes, improve efficiency, reduce risk and provide a superior student and parent experience.
We share six compelling reasons your school should consider going cashless below.
1. Reduce the administrative burden
Cashless schools are efficient schools. The school office manages an extraordinarily wide range of regular and ad hoc payments – from school fees to uniforms, lunch orders, excursions and camps, fundraising, library fees and more. Opting to process these payments digitally saves administrative teams significant time spent accepting, recording and tracking payments compared with a cash-based or hybrid model. With no cash, there’s no need for manual record-keeping or data entry, and your admin team won’t need to visit the bank to deposit or withdraw cash.
2. Eliminates teacher involvement in payments
In many schools, classroom teachers still play a key role in managing permission slips and payments. A cashless approach means that they don’t need to spend time collecting, handling and tracking cash payments, and can instead dedicate this time to learning delivery. With permissions and payments managed centrally by a modern school management platform, teachers can still see an overview of their students’ payment status but are not required to collect, safely store and deliver cash and forms to the school office.
3. PROVIDES BETTER FLEXIBILITY AND CONVENIENCE TO FAMILIES
Digital payment allows students and families to make quick, easy and secure payments using their payment method of choice. With the ability to pay 24/7 using any device, parents can make instant payments when they think of them – rather than dropping by the school office.
4. RedUces late payments
Digital payments make it much quicker and easier for schools to chase any late payments. A system that holds payment details and automatically deducts payments when they’re due ensures that far fewer payments are late, and that any overdue payments are tracked and managed efficiently. Families can be advised of and address late payments 24/7 online, with no need for reminder phone calls or a visit to the school office to make a cash payment.
5. Strengthens data security
Paper-based payment and permission forms and keeping card details on file poses a significant data security risk to schools, particularly as cyber-attacks become increasingly clever. Partnering with a payments platform that offers an ISO-certified information security approach mean school data is always safe.
6. IMPROVES RECORD-KEEPING AND REPORTING
With all payments made and recorded digitally, there’s no need for time-intensive and error-prone manual data entry. A real-time view means that school staff and families have access to the same information about outstanding and completed payments, reducing the likelihood of payment disputes. From a financial management perspective, a cashless operating model means there’s always a clear view of your school’s financial position, supporting better budgeting and more meaningful financial reporting and analysis.
Moving to cashless payments will empower your administrative team and teachers to spend their time more effectively by removing the burden of managing cash, while providing better convenience and flexibility for families. With consumers showing a strong preference for contactless payments, it makes sense to consider cashless as a way to drive more efficiency, transparency, and better financial management at your school.
PCSchool is a powerful student management platform that supports cashless payments and takes the complexity out of school management. It integrates with your existing systems to streamline and simplify administration, information management, financial management and communication, and supports digital payments across all aspects of school operations.